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Blue Flower derived Kaleidoscope for carthill

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I took the original photo several years ago at Bok Tower Gardens, Fl. This was a situation where the photographer erred in which the picture was both poorly composed and taken with a shaky hand. I manipulated it in this kaleidoscope and then changed the values to add more colour. These jewel tones resulted. The frame is art glass.

I hope that you like it, Lesley!


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Oops! Missed this one, Michelle. Sorry about that.

We took up that 2 year magazine deal and it is worth it. Sometimes it's good to be able to refer to the printed word instead of flipping screens between a tutorial and Elements. It's the same story here in Oz over higher prices. Boils down to supply and demand, I think. I'm just glad I can buy stuff when I'm visiting Sally in the US. My laptop is a classic example - the price here for it was $1700 and I paid $699 in the US. Same computer, same specs. It's the little things too... a 2 oz block of polymer clay is around $4.00 here, I pay $0.99 when Michaels has a special on it. Even paying freight to send it to Oz means I pay less than here. Crazy!

If I can create a shape for you, I will. Did you mean loon as in bird? I can't draw too well with a mouse but I'm a dab hand with the Pen Tool now so I can easily find a loon silhouette and trace around it. We'll sort out how to get any shapes to you when the time comes.

There are heaps of freebie custom shapes available. You might end up doing what I did by grabbing mobs of them and not ending up using them! I've refined my collection now and kept what I felt might be useful. Probably wouldn't hurt to have another clean up though. Know just what you mean about staying up way past bedtime to play on the pewter :-)

I'll tell Sally what you said. No doubt she'll be pleased :-)


Wow, me something to chew on when I should be abed. I am going to have to wait until tomorrow (dang, fingers are itching to click on the icon and start playing...*slap* stop it...). I am planning to sign up for the 2 year magazine offer and should go through and see what else I can do. I understand where you're coming from re the US market...they always get better deals even when the value of their is dollar is below ours. (Book prices drive us crazy that way...) So many of us Canadians end up doing cross-border shopping trips for just that reason...their market economy is just so much larger than ours.

I may hold you to requesting (I was trying to make a (solid) loon today since one of my puzzles called out for it and I couldn't find one...) I have been up late surfing the net for freebies too. (You can really get sucked into spending an awful lot of time doing this, can't you?)

Thanks for spending the time with me, Chrissie. I admire your (and Sally's) talents and sense of humour and kindness... :*


My goodness, you are way ahead in the short time you've been playing! I don't think I'd learned half of what you know now in many months after I started LOL.

As for custom shapes, while you can't make them there are hundreds of freebies out there. If there's a particular one you want and you can't find it, I'll make it for you in CS5... if it's not tooooo complicated, that is!

3D effects on type are brilliant in CS5, plus you can apply layer styles to it. I haven't done a lot of text refinements in PSE but there's enough capacity in the layer style settings to create 3D.

Deleting a layer won't slow you down if you right click on the layer and choose delete layer from the pop up menu :-)) Another tip to keep the number of layers manageable is to R click 'merge visible layers' after you "invisibilise" the ones you don't want to merge.

Chances are Adobe will offer you a good deal on CS6 as an Elements buyer if you're keen to use it. Did you sign up for offers, newsletters etc? That's how I got CS5. I would never have otherwise and certainly not here in Oz where the price is incredibly high. It's much cheaper in the US - supply and demand rules :-)


Control J has been one of my lifelines to getting the layers duplicated and in there quickly. I can always turn on and off the eyeballs to see what effect I like and if I leave them turned off when I flatten the layers, the programme asks if I want to discard them. I don't have to delete the layer myself (which would slow me down). I have found the Cookie Cutters (which show in a number of my puzzles ... stay tuned for more in all the ones I have waiting in the queue to be publicly and have even downloaded more from the net. So far, I have just added some free ones:

I also added some extra fonts from too.

Jealous much of your CS5, Chrissie! I had a teeth gnashing episode today when I discovered one of the more frustrating things about having Elements... I can't create my own! I need the CS versions since Elements can't handle vector shapes. RATS!

I have also been playing with the different filters to spherize, twirl etc. I want to be able to do 3D type effects so I have been experimenting (without knowledge but without fear either).

I also discovered, quite by accident, that when I want to add extra cookie cutters and their effects and get them to the surface, I have to duplicate the original layer again, do whatever cookie I want, duplicate however I want and then drag the layers up to the top afterwards. The whole trick about this programme is recognizing that layers are your friends. I always duplicate a layer upon which I want to experiment...if it goes badly wrong, I can delete the whole layer!

I have also found Control E for merging layers; holding down both Shift and Alt when I want to make a circle with the Elliptical tool (letting the mouse button off before the keys - leaned that the hard way); snapping to guides; hitting the Shift key when rotating the kaleido base images to get them to lock to the 90 degree positions quickly and easily. I am sure that there are a lot more things that I can learn (especially when I get to those tutorials! and I will!) but I am comfortable with computers so do try to play when I can get the opportunity. (Many tricks cross over the coding barriers from one programme to another...nobody reinvents the wheel every time.)

I really appreciate the opportunity to dialogue and share. Since I am just starting out with this, I don't know how much I can add back into the pot, except to encourage others to be brave and let go and have fun. That's the whole point anyhow... I'm sure that I'll start asking questions about how to do things that I see in your puzzles now that I know that I'm not stepping on toes. (I'm one of those people who likes sharing recipes too... ;-D)


Control J is another good one, Michelle. It duplicates the layer. You may know this already but individual layers can have filters applied to them as well. Pardon me if I state some obvious things like this but I missed quite few obvious things when I started out :-) Have you experimented with the Cookie Cutter tool yet? That is a whole heap of fun!

I have Win7 64 bit too with Photoshop CS5 in 64 bit but Elements 9 in 32 bit so I can still use the freebie filters. Good combo :-)

It is great being able to share our accumulated skills. There is ALWAYS something new to learn :-)


Edit - Undo is the extra wet suit Judy! Wear it with pride. (Just don't save anything that you hate and Bob's your uncle!) I looked at just a couple of things on YouTube (Blue Lightning comes to mind) and tried to google but found that most of what I was looking at didn't apply directly to my version of Photoshop (Elements 11) but rather to the fancier CS6. However, once you start to play you can find work arounds and now, just a couple of weeks later, I haven't bothered checking out more since I find that I need to click and play to really understand what I can do.

While I used to work with computer programmes, it was quite a number of years back and I am sadly out of date. I didn't even know about most of the free photo-editing software out there and now you've introduced me to a drawing programme! I will admit that my pen is better for writing words that for drawing works of art (and especially with a mouse!). It is lovely to see so many different talents on this website, isn't it? Not just about doing the puzzles after all... ;-D


Michelle, I use SerifDraw unless it's a kaleido. I also have a photo program, but I'm wanting to learn all that I can from the draw program before moving to greener pastures. I am curious about making your own kaleidos. What tutorials did you watch? That sounds rather interesting. I have found that doing is much more challenging than watching, so it can be ego deflating. Usually, when that happens, I just need to give things time to settle. Glad you like the deep end. It seems I've been slowly, painfully testing the waters. I'd love to join you. Got an extra wet suit? :-))


I had to consult with my daughter, since she's the one who owns the computer. (My old laptop died aeons ago...there are enough other ones in the house that I "borrow" ...and pay for the DSL connection! LOL) This is a high-wheaties gaming computer (Win 7, 64 bit) so I don't think that I could use the free filters per your message below. I might try the online editors in a wee bit but at the moment, the advantage to creating by "hand" is that you have full creative control and can undo brightness or change hue and intensities, etc. as you go. I like making extra layers and clicking on and off the eyeballs to see what I like best. (And using CTRL I to invert, as well.) Once you flatten the image, the turned off layers are discarded anyway. Edit- Undo is also one of my favourite features! LOL I am rather fearless when it comes to clicking away and trying anything so, no, I don't have any problem doing tutorials either and will adapt what I need from them. I will go back to the basics but I just was itching to start doing something so I jumped into the deep end right away. The water is fine! Deep but fine! So everybody...into the pool! ;-D

btw: I really do enjoy the dialogue and how we can give each other pointers as to what works and doesn't work, etc. Thanks, Chrissie!!


Michelle, I've been creating kaleidoscopes using plug in filters for Photoshop and Elements. Most of the free filters are 32 bit so if you run Elements on 32 bit they will work. Won't work with 64 bit. You can also create kaleidoscopes with online editors like SumoPaint, Pixlr and LunaPic. There may be many more. I'm learning about the hand made ones from the tutorials you mentioned... I've watched several and I'm trying to find the easiest. Unlike some I don't break out into a rash doing a tute :-)


Thank you very much, childofgod! I am glad that you like it (these colours always appeal to me too).

Thanks, Judy! I am just starting to learn to play with this and it is really enjoyable to let your imagination go, isn't it? You do such great work yourself. What programme are you using?


Michelle, I am so happy that you described your technique a bit and the program you use, because we can all learn from each other. I love this puzzle!! I think you are doing a fantastic job and look forward to more. This was truly enjoyable solve. Way to go.

i am always looking for new art and this is one i like, the colors are very lovely together!!!


Why thank you! How were you doing them before now, Chrissie? I don't know the "correct" way, just the general principals of flipping them and adjusting brightness. I have been playing (a lot) and just clicking here and there, undoing, redoing, turning layers on and off, just to get the feel of this. I'm also going a little crazy and over-the-top but ... I did write out a basic how to for the first ones but I'm now flying by the seat of my pants again. Yeah, yeah...I'll get to the tutorials yet! LOL! ;-D


This one is extra spekkie, Michelle. You're positively flying with Photoshop! Thanks to you I am now learning how to create kaleidoscopes by hand. It's great being able to record the actions so I have less to remember :-) Thanks!


Why thank you, psychokat! I'll keep trying to please!

I loved it, great colors and great fun to do. Thank you and more please.


That's why I thought of you...the colours! Blues and greens. The original kaleido just wasn't doing much for me so I tweaked and twiddled and ended up with this surreal form. Sort of stained glass, sort of other-wordly. I just wanted to say thank you to all my Jigidi friends who have supported me. I'm glad that you appreciated it, Lesley!


Thank you Michelle, that was kind of you. Really nice colour combinations here.


Thank you Monica and gnt!

Yes, I have quite a number of these sitting waiting to post...I'm just limited by Jigidi! Some are wilder than others...take a look and see what I've already done, if you haven't already. I'm only just starting to learn...loaded up my Christmas pressie of Photoshop last week and I'm off to the races! LOL


Great one and I agree with mhughes69


O.M.G. Michelle, that was so much fun! Will you be doing more of these? I really love these pic's, thanks so much! Yes, more please! L.O.L.